about replacing the W3EDP this past weekend. While it's not the greatest or most efficient wire antenna I've ever had, for some reason it's the best wire antenna for 160 Meters that I've ever had. In the past, my 88' EDZ and G5RV were very poor performers on Top Band, if I could get them to load at all. Contacts with those netted me QSOs in New Jersey and New York could have been considered DX. On the other hand, the W3EDP has taken me up and down the East coast and gotten me as far as Illinois with 5 Watts.
I know, no great shakes, but even a small trickle of water is like a river to a man dying of thirst. For the coming season of shorter days and longer nights, I decided that instead of replacing it for now, I'd just try to get it up higher, and I did. I managed to shoot a line over the tree and the apex of the W3EDP is now at about the 40 foot level. Unfortunately, as it slopes down to meet the mast on the far side, it's a zig-zag affair within the tree limbs. But it will do for now, while I do some more research to figure out what to swap this out with next Spring, before the leaves return.
I didn't play much in the CQ WWDX this weekend. I only made 1/2 dozen contacts or so on Saturday afternoon, as I got busy with other things. But it was apparent that the absence of sunspots is doing QRPers no big favors. QSOs with locations that were easy pickin's just a few years ago were still able to be accomplished - but took a lot more effort. I was a surprise that the Caribbean stations weren't hearing me as well as they used to. It's amazing how quickly you get used to great band conditions and good propagation when the sunspot numbers are up, and how quickly you notice it when they're not there anymore.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!